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Nagoya Suzuki 3/4 Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jnmhorn, Sep 27, 2005.


  1. jnmhorn

    jnmhorn

    Jun 28, 2005
    I came across a used old Suzuki bass that is 3/4 in size and costs $225, but needs new strings. Is this a good bass? He says it plays well
     

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  2. Brent Nussey

    Brent Nussey

    Jun 27, 2001
    Tokyo, Japan
    I don't know anything about what's sold in the States, but this looks like a typical Suzuki plywood you can find in Junior High Schools and High Schools all across Japan. They're nothing special, but the ones I've seen have all held up pretty well under the rigors of being a school instrument. They have cheap hardwood fingerboards. The useful life of the bass might be determined by it's condition. What I mean is, if the board has ruts in it, maybe it can be redressed once or twice. After that, it'll need a new fingerboard. The cost of redressing the fingerboard may be as much as you're paying for the bass, and a new board will certainly be not worth it, you may as well spend the money on a better bass to begin with, IMHO. On the other hand, if the board looks fine, you can probably get a few years out of it, depending on how much you play.

    The bridge on the one in the photo looks to be out of place (north of where it should be). Maybe the bridge wasn't tall enough, so the guy moved it. I can't tell from the pictures, but if the guy moved it without appropriately moving the soundpost, the top may have become twisted or sunken. If the bridge isn't tall enough to put it in the proper place (between the F-hole notches), then you may have to add the cost of a new bridge/post, or at least adjusters, into your calculations.

    Anyway, none of this is meant to discourage you too much, 225 bucks is a very low price, and IMO, it's better than spending 400 on a Palatino. The Suzuki's I've seen have all been stable basses. Just the usual caveats for plywoods with "hardwood" fingerboards. If the top and FB look good, maybe you've got yourself a good deal.

    I did find the company website, though I don't think it'll be helpful.

    http://www.suzukiviolin.co.jp/

    Catalog page:
    http://www.suzukiviolin.co.jp/cat.html

    Good luck.

    Brent
     
  3. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    If it were near me and in one piece and solid I would buy it in a heartbeat. Ask the owner if you can take it to a luthier for evaluation or take someone who already plays to play the bass. For $225 even if it is crap it would make a killer planter for the front porch :eyebrow:

    az
     
  4. jnmhorn

    jnmhorn

    Jun 28, 2005
    It seems like a too good of a deal? Top you mean where the tuning pegs are? FB is finger board right? I think I might just get that sucker. I mean maybe the guy got real cheap off someone, estate sale or something and doesn't know the true value.
     
  5. jnmhorn

    jnmhorn

    Jun 28, 2005
    Here is the pic of the tuning pegs. I think I will make a down payment and take it to a Luthier. By the way. Is it better to buy this or a $600 Strunal? I mean I don't mind investing another $300-400 overtime to this baby so that I can practice on it. I have a bass at school that I preform with.
     

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  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    How tall is the Bridge in the center from the belly to the top of the bridge in the center between the D and A string. It may have a low neck set and make playing with a bow difficult. Other than that, $225 is a good set of strings in my book.
     
  7. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I never thought of that angle but very true. You are buying a used set of strings that just happens to have a free bass thrown into the deal.

    az
     
  8. jnmhorn

    jnmhorn

    Jun 28, 2005
    So I guess I should go for it. It seems like it is good. I haven't played it yet though. These are just pictures from the seller. I'm not exactly sure that it is a Nagoya Suzuki bass, but he said it was a Suzuki and thats all that popped up. I thnk I m gonna go for it then.
     
  9. Brent Nussey

    Brent Nussey

    Jun 27, 2001
    Tokyo, Japan
    By top I mean the big piece of wood that the bridge sits on, with the F-holes. Sometimes if the bass is setup incorrectly or with some other problems, the top can become twisted and lose it's shape. When I said the bridge is "north" of where it should be, I meant it's located closer to the fingerboard end of the bass than where it's meant to be (which is between the notches in the f-holes). FB means fingerboard, yes.

    Oh, it's a Suzuki alright. That picture of the scroll confirms it. I've seen a hundred of them. And those tuners are the ones they put on all the student model basses. The keys can come loose and rattle. If you have some skill, you can hammer the pin that holds them in tighter, but visiting school music programs I've seen a lot that were fixed with tape, rubber bands and the like....:)

    The top looks a little sunken on the bass bar side, but lots of plywoods get to look like that after a few years and still sound fine. If you can have a luthier look at it and give you an idea what you're getting into, you should be fine.

    BTW- the bass is a "Suzuki", that's the company name. Nagoya is just the name of the city where the factory is.

    Brent